Hard Working Class Heroes festival 2007 takes place this weekend, in six venues within Harcourt Street's POD complex. There has never before been such an abundance of amazing Irish bands and - as many of them have yet to release albums - a festival like this is ideal for people to figure out what's awesome and what's awful. As well as showcasing hundreds of great tunes from this island, the weekend will feature a 'Scandinavian Invasion'. Although the Canadian showcase of last year's festival was of a slightly disappointing calibre, the foreign bands - probably en route to Ireland on longboats right now - performing this year are almost entirely great. This week, Hi-Fi Popcorn will be featuring twelve of the best acts...
Soda Fountain Rag - Red Tape
This bedroom pop project introduces us to a yé-yé girl for the 21st century. Ragnhild Hogstad Jordahl - drummer with Norwegian indie-popsters The April Skies - makes chirpy songs influenced by some of her fantastic fellow Scandinavians. Think France Gill or Clothilde, but armed with Fruity Loops and a laptop. Her debut album is due for release this autumn on Ireland's lovely yesboyicecream records, but until then, she has fifteen songs available for free download.
Super Extra Bonus Party - Everything Flows
Choosing a name which strings together three massively enthusiastic adjectives with one of the most positive nouns in existence doesn't leave a band with many options. And so Super Extra Bonus Party rise to the challenge, throwing samples, indie guitars and guest vocals on top of breakneck beats. Their awesome live show is a collision of inventive goodtime electro and bizarrely appropriate visual art.
Michael Knight - Coronation Street
Michael Knight is neither the name of a Knightrider obsessed band nor a singer-songwriter with a bizarre birthname. It's actually the assumed title of Berlin-based musician Richie Murphy, a man who specialises in clever piano-based pop songs infused with the spirit of many dead classical composers, as well as the smart-arse bounce of The Divine Comedy and multi-tracked harmonies which recall that band which were fairly popular during that decade we were in around forty years ago..
Grand Pocket Orchestra - Radio
Following in the footsteps of their sometime bandmates Fight Like Apes, Grand Pocket Orchestra look to the genius of America's Elephant 6 collective for inspiration and to procure a distinctly un-Irish sound. 'Radio' is an exciting sprint to the finish line with clanging guitars and duelling vocal melodies, whilst 'Little Messy' is a summertime gem which falls somewhere between Pavement and Modest Mouse. HWCH sees the band make a much-anticipated rare live appearance.